Taiwanese golf favorite Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) regained her confidence yesterday after the first round of the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters tournament at the Linkou Miramar Golf Country Club in New Taipei City (新北市), showing a good start following hernia surgery in late October, but failed to turn her strong performance into a lead.
Under sunny skies, the former world No. 1 carded a four-under 68 to end the round tied for fifth with world No. 5 So Yeon-ryu of South Korea and world No. 6 Lydia Ko of New Zealand.
Grouped with world No. 7 Na Yeon-choi of South Korea and Sandra Gal of Germany, Tseng had a birdie and a bogey on the front nine and was left watching as the other two kept making birdies.
“I had a rough start today, but I managed to keep patient, taking it slowly and playing more aggressively on the back nine,” she said at a post-game press conference.
Describing her drives and putts as poor, the 24-year-old said she focused too much on her moves and gestures rather than how to play the game.
Tseng finished her back nine flawlessly as she birdied on the 12th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes without any bogeys.
“I saved par on the 15th tee beautifully and built up my confidence afterward,” she said, adding that the birdie she made on the 17th hole from a bunker was “very lucky.”
Despite her strong performance, 24-year-old Tseng was still four shots behind world No. 1 Inbee Park of South Korea, who finished the day at the top of the leaderboard with a sizzling nine-under 63.
Taiwanese amateur golfer Cheng Ssu-chia (程思嘉) got much attention from the media as well, tying for top amateur in the first round. The 16-year-old carded a two-under-par 70 to tie for 11th overall and for leading amateur with South Korea’s Lee So-young.